Bank of America finances growth for Little Leaf Farms
Devens, Mass.-based greenhouse grower Little Leaf Farms is entering expansion mode with the help of nearly $40 million from Bank of America.
The company will double its Massachusetts production base in 2020 and later add more facilities in eastern Pennsylvania and western North Carolina, according to a news release.
Bank of America is providing $18 million of financing now, to be followed by another $20 million to help finance the company’s growth, according to the release.
Little Leaf Farms, founded in 2015, now produces more than one million boxes of fresh greenhouse-grown baby green lettuce a month in Devens, Mass., according to the release. Year-round shipments can reach every major supermarket chain in New England within 24 hours, according to the release.
The company expects to expand from five acres to 10 acres with the opening of a new greenhouse in May 2020 at Devens, according to the release.
At that time, the release said production of the company’s pesticide-free lettuce will double to two million boxes delivered to New York and New Jersey’s major supermarket chains.
Looking ahead, the release said Little Leaf Farms plans to break ground in the eastern Pennsylvania region on a 20-acre greenhouse to supply stores locally. That will be followed by another 20-acre greenhouse located in western North Carolina.
“We are supportive of Little Leaf Farms’ efficient growing methods, using sunlight and captured rainwater, to grow delicious lettuce that only travels locally so it remains flavorful,” Randy Mitchell, a senior vice president of global commercial banking at Bank of America, said in the release. “We believe in the company’s environmentally and socially responsible mission as they expand into new markets on the East Coast.”
Little Leaf Farms said in the release that growing locally and shipping within 24 hours to local stores adds to the company’s efficiency. What’s more, the release said the company uses 100 percent captured rainwater and advanced fertilization and irrigation systems that use 90% less water than field-grown greens.
“Having Bank of America so solidly behind us as we expand into several new regions is critical to our momentum,” Paul Sellew, CEO of Little Leaf Farms, said in the release. “Customers have really responded to our lettuces, saying we have the best, most flavorful product, and we are now the number one packaged lettuce in New England. The support of the Bank of America team is going to help us move forward all the more.”